As factories and equipment get smarter and armed with new technologies, like IoT, AI, and Cognitive Automation, Industry 4.0 has finally arrived. Industry 4.0 a term coined in Germany to computerize manufacturing, has now launched into a worldwide phenomenon. To take the first mover advantage, China and Japan have even coined their own initiatives aptly titled the Made in China 2025 and the Industrial Value Chain Initiative emphasizing on leveraging data and automation for business gains. As industry data volumes grow larger, Conventional computing will make way for new technologies to handle the large influx of data and the complexity of the analytics to pave way for Cognitive manufacturing also called as or The Industrial Internet of Things or the Factory Digitization or the Industry 4.0 revolution.
There is a good reason why Industry 4.0 projects are coming across every industry worldwide. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, optimizing operations and equipment in factories have the potential to generate up to $3.7 T of value in 2025.
Making way for Cognitive Manufacturing
Cognitive manufacturing fully utilizes the data residing across equipment, systems and processes to derive actionable insight across the entire value chain through different processes from design through manufacture to support activities. Built on the foundations of IoT and employing analytics combined with cognitive technology, Industry 4.0 or cognitive manufacturing drives its key productivity improvements in reliability, quality and efficiency of the manufacturing environment. So how does cognitive manufacturing transform the manufacturing domain? It does so in three focused ways as described under:
1. Through Intelligent assets and equipment utilization by deploying smart analytics, connected sensors and cognitive capabilities with an aim to communicate, sense and self-diagnose issues to reduce unnecessary downtime and optimize performance levels.
2. Cognitive processes and operations efficiency, by analyzing a variety of information from process, workflows, context and the environment to drive quality thereby enhancing operations and improving decision-making.
3. Smarter resources and resource optimization by combining data from different sources like usage, individuals, location parameters deploying cognitive insights to enhance and optimize resources.
Technologies driving Cognitive Manufacturing
Cognitive Manufacturing is driven by the Internet of Things and Analytics, as detailed under:
Internet of Things:
With the growth and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), industries are becoming more interconnected and gaining massive advantage through their data sources. IoT provides an opportunity for industries to leverage the data from industries, like the conditions of equipment, the quality and yield metrics to the condition of assets.
Data with analytics are changing the way the human mind works with machines, its processes and operations. Analytics can identify patterns in the manufacturing data, model behaviors of the industrial equipment, and predict failures based on a variety of variables that are imperative to the manufacturing setting.
Cognitive Manufacturing & Industry 4.0
Manufacturers can use cognitive technologies to solve fundamental business challenges which include finding new value in their manufacturing data, improving product quality and enhancing knowledge management.
Cognitive manufacturing is a boon for organizations as it helps them to improve their fundamental business metrics, including product reliability, safety, quality, productivity while reducing downtime and lowering costs at the same time. A cognitive engine can analyze the symptoms of break down in a machine which can help to reduce downtime expenses. Additionally, Cognitive manufacturing helps in creating new value from manufacturing data by looking deeply into the manufacturing process and business environment to drive information that is important to a manufacturer. Businesses are increasingly deploying cognitive manufacturing techniques to improve the performance of their plant operations which will also help to reduce costs.
Cognitive manufacturing also improves product quality by aiding to build the best-quality products, enabling companies to put a micro focus on quality throughout the life cycle of product development right from design to distribution and logistics activities.
Last but not the least, Smart Cognitive manufacturing helps to enhance knowledge management by leveraging data ranging from diverse sources like employee biometric monitors or logs or manuals and many more.
The Future is Bright for Cognitive Manufacturing
As the pace of technological advancement keeps increasing, Cognitive Manufacturing is a trend of today redefining commonplace activities that were impossible to comprehend by technology 10 or 15 years ago.
Industries across the globe are slowly waking up to this trend and embracing Cognitive Manufacturing to leverage the maximum insights from their data, in a bid to increase revenues and drive the maximum customer/client satisfaction.